Here’s what Startup Nation executives have been reading this year

For the last few months, CTech has been inviting founders, CEOs, and investors to review a book of their choice that had a large impact on them.

Typically, we have encouraged members of Startup Nation to share insights they learned from various titles relating to technology, business, finance, or leadership.

This summer, we invite you to explore some of the most popular titles from our collection of BiblioTech entries. Who knows, you might pick up your next summer read!

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CTech’s BiblioTech series has almost 100 book reviews.

(credit: shutterstock)

Title: “Bad Blood: Secrets and Lies in a Silicon Valley Startup”
Author: John Carreyrou
Summary:
Elizabeth Holmes was once the darling of the tech world. At only 31 she was named the youngest self-made female billionaire thanks to her extraordinarily highly valued Biotech company, Theranos. The “next Steve Jobs,” investors and the media were drawn to her like flies and she was expected to change the world.

A year later, her estimated net worth was $0, by 2018 her company was closed and she was indicted on multiple fraud allegations.

Title: “Surrounded by Idiots: The Four Types of Human Behavior and How to Effectively Communicate with Each in Business (and in Life)”
Author: Thomas Erikson
Summary:
If you want to be able to work effectively with people, you need to be an excellent communicator.

And at the end of the day, we all have people we need to communicate with, both at work and outside of it.

So, what makes someone an ‘excellent’ communicator? If you think about it, the success of communication is really based on how well the message is received. That’s why understanding how people process information and what information they will pay attention to are crucial first steps. Learning how to communicate with your employees, colleagues, and managers can make the difference between a productive team and a dysfunctional one.

Title: “The Five Temptations of a CEO”
Author: Patrick Lencioni
Summary:
This is a management book told in the form of a fable/story. The main character, Andrew, is about to celebrate his first year anniversary as the CEO of a company where he worked for a number of years. He’s stressed about the upcoming board meeting, as the company has been struggling. On a train ride home, he’s ‘enlightened’ in a conversation with a passenger (Charlie) who makes him understand that being a CEO might be challenging, but it shouldn’t be complicated. The book is packed with actionable insights and advice for company leaders.

Title: “Atomic Habits: An Easy & Proven Way to Build Good Habits & Break Bad Ones”
Author: James Clear
Summary:
James Clear’s “Atomic Habits” breaks down in simple terms what it means to take control over your life by learning how to master small positive habits and remove negative ones. One of the over-arching ideas in the book is how habits have a compound effect on individuals; if you make a small improvement or investment in yourself each day then it can have long-term benefits for your health, business, or lifestyle. Alternatively, if you allow yourself to form negative habits then it can have the opposite outcome.

Title: “Start with Why: How Great Leaders Inspire Everyone to Take Action”
Author: Simon Sinek
Summary:
“Start with Why: How Great Leaders Inspire Everyone to Take Action” is a book by Simon Sinek, a British-American author and a speaker that teaches leaders and organizations how to inspire people.

He launched his speaker career in 2009 at a TED Talk by popularizing his concept of “WHY”. It rose to become the second most watched TED Talk of all time and remains in the top five today with nearly 50 million views. The book is dealing with a fundamental question, that all of us should ask ourselves until we know and understand the answer is: Why do you do what you do? Specifically, if you are a leader and you want others to follow you. This is a question that organizations should ask themselves, as well. Any organization can explain WHAT they do or even HOW they do it, but very few can explain WHY?

Title: “Rich Dad Poor Dad: What the Rich Teach Their Kids About Money That the Poor and Middle Class Do Not!”
Author: Robert Kiyosaki
Summary:
Robert Kiyosaki, an American businessman and author, published the first version of the book “Rich Dad, Poor Dad” in 1997. Kiyosaki is well known to Israelis, especially business and real estate investors.

Interestingly enough, in the beginning, the book wasn’t a bestseller. However, in the years before the internet revolution, it became a very popular book in Israel and when readers realized the value behind it, the book started gaining readers.

Thanks to Kiyosaki, the world’s middle class learnt and understood the secrets of creating passive income and gradually became interested in it.

Title: “Chutzpah: Why Israel Is a Hub of Innovation and Entrepreneurship”
Author: Inbal Arieli
Summary:
Many wonder how a small country like Israel became Startup Nation. “Chutzpah” takes the readers on a journey through an Israeli childhood and shows how cultural habits and spirit encourage entrepreneurial thinking and behavior.

Instead of being an anecdotal story, Inbal Arieli leads us through the various startup phases and exposes how successful Israeli entrepreneurs made their way.

The book captures the critical element of being an entrepreneur. Behaviors that most social norms try to reduce or moderate, in “Chutzpah” they are the ‘secret sauce’ that turns into a powerful tool for Israeli entrepreneurs.

Title: “The Innovators”
Author: Walter Isaacson
Summary:
In ‘The Innovators’, Walter Isaacson portrays the history of the Digital Revolution, through the stories of the inventions that were the key milestones of this revolution, the stories of the people who made these inventions happen, and how they did it. Isaacson takes us to the first days of the mechanical computer and the invention of programming. He continued with the transistor, the microprocessor, software and the birth of the Internet, and the Personal Computer who together brought on the proliferation of online services and the Web.

He tells the story of these inventions through the stories of the people who made them happen. The people, some household names, some known to people in the industry, and some more obscure are the heroes of the book and the digital revolution. Isaacson captures the moments and motivations and most importantly the interactions that led them to make these key milestones.

Title: “Lean In”
Author: Sheryl Sandberg
Summary:
Sheryl Sandberg is the ex-COO of Facebook (Meta). In her book “Lean In”, she deep dives into the relationship between women and careers, looking into the various aspects that reappear and affect a woman’s path to reaching her career goals. The book not only brings examples for situations where women meet challenges but also brings solutions in how to navigate the forms of hindrances most common in women’s career paths.

Title: “David and Goliath: Underdogs, Misfits, and the Art of Battling Giants”
Author: Malcolm Gladwell
Summary:
Strengths and weaknesses, advantages and disadvantages aren’t always what they seem to be on the surface. Sometimes what we perceive as an advantage turns out to be a disadvantage – and vice versa. Attempting to play the Goliath’s game seldom succeeds. The Davids must use creative strategies to defeat the Goliaths. However, most underdogs do not fight like Davids because they accept the game’s rules as stated by the dominating players.

The book has three parts where the author discusses the advantages of disadvantages (and the disadvantages of advantages); the theory of desirable difficulty, and finally the limits of power.

These were some of the most popular entries of the series, which started in 2020 and has almost 100 reviews!

You can explore the entire BiblioTech by following this link. Alternatively, if you have a book that you would like to review for CTech, please complete the form in the link here (please note that CTech will not publish reviews of titles that have already been featured, and answers must hit editorial standards).

Happy reading!

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